Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Freeloaders: Should iTunes Allow Podcasters to Charge?

This post isn’t necessarily addressed to freeloaders. It’s about a category of people. I’ve been following Ramit Sethi for years. I like his style, his attitude, and the information he provides, most of it for free. Even though he provides a lot of information for free, he still makes a lot of money through quality products he provides. He has quite a business going.

He had a delicious category on freeloaders. I like to check it once in a while. I am a freeloader though. But hopefully, not the kind of freeloader Ramit disdains. With Ramit’s quality content, he advocates his readers to take action. He gives actionable steps to improve your life, negotiate a higher salary, get freelance business, etc. But the “freeloaders” usually ignore the advice and complain when he tries to sell a product. Personally, I’d love to buy one of his premium products, but don’t believe I can justify to my wife doing it out of our current budget.  So for now, I’m happy to follow along with whatever Ramit offers for free.

The other day, Ramit tweeted something about freeloaders revolting over being charged. I followed the link. It went to a discussion about podcasters possibly being allowed to charge for podcasts.

That’s scary. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’ve been through a lot of them. I’ve had points when I was subscribing to more podcasts than I could possibly listen to in a day (or week) and had to unsubscribe. I’ve dropped some good ones. I used to listen to TWIT, until it started to last close to 2 hours and became more like some friends complaining about Windows Vista than useful tech new and perspectives.

The possibility of having podcasts charge scares me a little bit. But I know some will still be available for free. Most of the podcasts I listen to will probably remain free.

I don’t think I’d complain if some started charging. People need to be able to make a living, and what’s wrong with being paid for your work? That is, if your work is beneficial. I’ve been blogging for more than 7 years, and have yet to see a dime. I guess it’s because I can’t seem to write about anything that interests anybody. So I write when I feel like it. When I was laid off last year, I tried to write a lot of content for my blog. I got nowhere.

What do you think? If you are a listener of podcasts, would you pay for any of them? Would you drop them altogether if they started charging?

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